Synopsis by Mark Deming
Love were the great Los Angeles rock band who were supposed to become major stars . . . but somehow didn't. Led by guitarist and singer Arthur Lee, who once proclaimed he was "the first black hippie," Love's musical approach was an eclectic blend of garage rock, psychedelia and folk rock that could easily sway from crushing blasts of electric guitar to introspective ballads accompanied by a string quartet. Love developed a large and passionate following in their home town for their superb songs (written by Lee and bandmate Bryan MacLean) and striking guitar work, and their recordings were favorites with critics, particularly their third album, the moody and eloquent Forever Changes (1967). However, Lee and his band mates were reluctant to tour (in part because of drug problems which dogged the group), and while their friends and contemporaries the Doors became one of the nation's biggest groups, Love slowly faded from view, and while a fervent cult grew around their body of work, none of the group's members would ever achieve the stardom expected of them. Lee's fate was especially sad, as he was convicted on a firearms charge in 1999 that led to him spending five years in prison. Filmmakers Mike Kerry and Chris Hall were Love fans who wanted to give the band's members a chance to tell their own story; the documentary Love Story is the result, which traces the highs and lows of the career of a great but overlooked band. Love Story includes interviews with band members Arthur Lee, Bryan MacLean, Johnny Echols, Kenny Forssi and Alban "Snoopy" Pfisterer; only Echols and Pfisterer were still alive by the time the film played at the London Film Festival in the fall of 2006.
career-retrospective, musical-styles, musical-technique, rock-band